Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Where the Apple Fell

In continuation of the two Cambridge and also the Peterborough posts our next port of call was, as I said, connected to my visit to Trinity College. I mentioned in passing that Sir Isaac Newton had studied at that college and also that I had sat amongst the statues, which included one of Sir Isaac in the chapel there. After our morning in Peterborough we set off towards home. A picnic lunch at Bourne Woods was followed by a visit to Woolsthorpe Manor, birthplace of the man himself.

This is the kind of house I like to visit, small, modest and so full of history. Don't get me wrong I love to visit the grand stately homes but I feel drawn to more modest places. I remember visiting here many years ago when we first went to live in Lincolnshire and had always wanted to return.

The staff were very welcoming and friendly and eager to explain all about the inside of the house. Sorry photos weren't allowed inside but the house downstairs had a sitting room to the left through the door, a large kitchen with a huge fireplace and curtained bed for the servant. Through the back was a reconstruction of a 17th century farmhouse kitchen with lovely replica salt glaze dishes and strewn herbs. Up the stairs, just inside the door, were two bedrooms. To the left was the room in which Sir Isaac was born, his father died a short while before his birth and when the baby arrived earlier than expected he was, according to the guide, small enough to fit into a pint pot and was not expected to survive. He lived to be 84. To the right was the bedroom Sir Isaac used when he returned to Woolsthorpe in 1665, to escape the plague in Cambridge. It was in this room that he did his experiments on the composition of light and devised his reflecting telescope. At the back of the house, in a third room, is an exhibition about Newton's family and his step-family.

The photo above is of the sitting room window on the side of the house. In the orchard opposite the front of the house is the famous apple tree which influenced the scientist's thoughts on gravitational force when he saw an apple fall from the tree.

I've just realised that I'm assuming that everyone will know about Newton's Life. If not here is a link to find out more. Since our last visit the barn has become a Science Centre where modern day experiments have been set up for a hands on experience as to how Sir Isaac Newton worked out and proved his theories.

After playing with some of the exhibits in the science centre and having a quick cup of tea in the little cafe there, we set off towards home. As we drove along the A50 images of all the wonderful things I had seen over our two days away whizzed around my brain and I realised just how lucky I was to have seen them all.


  1. Another one for the 'must visit' list, I haven't been here and it looks delightful. Like you, I prefer the smaller more modest houses where I can actually visualize myself living.

  2. Your last few posts have been fascinating. I love history and architecture, anything to do with old buildings...it was almost like being there!

  3. Looks another interesting place to visit.
    I knew only a little bit about Sir Isaac Newton. I'm getting a history lesson reading your blog now :)

  4. Just to say that your blog is lovely..have just found it..this will be fatal..bang goes the housework! ;-)

  5. So very interesting to see where Newton actually lived and had his "apple" experience, we were learning about that this past year. He was a very remarkable man in many ways.